Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Whitney Houston buried near father

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 17: Bobbi Kristina Houston arrives at Whigham Funeral Home for a private viewing for her mother Whitney Houston on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11, 2012. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
Whitney Houston has been buried next to her father (AP)
Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston has been laid to rest at a brief private ceremony in New Jersey.

The burial marked the end of a weekend that saw the pop star's family and friends gather at a star-studded funeral to mourn her loss while celebrating her career.

Fans and onlookers gathered in several places along the route the motorcade took from the Newark funeral home to the cemetery about 20 miles away in Westfield, where Houston was buried next to her father, who died in 2003.

The 48-year-old singer died on February 11 in California, hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party. No cause of death has been determined.

On Saturday, she was mourned at an invitation-only funeral at the church in Newark where she sang in the choir as a child. She was remembered by the biggest names in the music - Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys sang, and industry mogul Clive Davis was among those who spoke, as was Kevin Costner, Houston's co-star in The Bodyguard.

The funeral was closed to fans, who were not allowed within blocks of the church. Still, many came to Newark to take part in any way they could, some from as far as Miami and Washington DC.

Fans gathered again near the funeral home - some even slowly ran alongside the hearse as it began the journey to Houston's grave site. Several yelled out "We love you, Whitney" as the hearse, which had a black and white headshot of the star in a window, slowly drove away.

Barbara Davis, 53, of Newark, said she had been waiting outside the funeral home hoping to get a glimpse of Houston's final trip. "To be here at her home-going is an honour and a blessing," Ms Davis told The Star-Ledger of Newark.

The burial came a day after an emotional, nearly four-hour service at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church that ended with the strains of Houston's biggest record, I Will Always Love You, filling the church.

Her mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston wailed, "My baby! My baby!" as she was held up by two women and led out of the church behind the coffin bearing her daughter's body. A few steps behind her was the pop icon's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, also crying uncontrollably as she was comforted by Houston's close friend, singer Ray J.

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